Penetration Testing

Continuous pentesting to determine the weak points.
Testing to identify where best
to improve your cyber security.

Penetration Testing

Continuous pentesting to determine the weak points.
Testing to identify where best
to improve your cyber security.

Summary

Every organization is different. And so is our approach. We work with you to determine your specific areas of concern and if they can be impacted. Together we will determine the correct scope for you (a system, application, network, or another asset of your organization).

Penetration test outline showing the key elements

Benefits

  • Avoid the financial, reputational and operations losses a cyber-attack could cause.
  • Improve your security posture.
  • Determine the effectiveness of your current security controls, identifying where existing investments can be better utilized and if required, where further investment is needed.

Process

Once the target(s) have been selected the rules of engagement are determined. Testing may either be conducted externally or include on-site testing. The test duration will depend on the target’s complexity and specific requirements.

If required a “trophy” can be selected for the test, (these are useful in ensuring the test has the right context for any findings). Typically, this will be either to gain access to a specific system, breach the network, or get a specific user account.

Our team use a combination of automated tools and manual testing techniques.
Using both methods we are able to uncover the ‘low hanging fruit’ and the critical, ‘hard to find’ issues. Due to the experience of our intelligence team, our penetration testers are aware of the latest techniques used by attackers, and these are incorporated into the test as appropriate.

If a trophy has been specified, the team will hone their focus to zero in on achieving the goal. If not, then vulnerabilities identified will be tested to their conclusion and their impact assessed.

If a critical issue is found during testing, which may include signs of a breach, our team will immediately contact the client with details.

Full, transparent reporting is provided. A high level summary accompanied by detailed walkthroughs and analysis. Remediation details are also provided helping you to fix what we find.

Pentesting FAQ

What is pentesting?

Pentesting is the process of testing for vulnerabilities in a system, application or network. It can be conducted either externally or include on-site testing. The test duration will depend on the target’s complexity and specific requirements.

What are the benefits of pen testing?

Pen testing can help improve your security posture and avoid the financial, reputational and operations losses a cyber-attack could cause. It can also determine the effectiveness of your current security controls, identifying where existing investments can be better utilized and if required, where further investment is needed.

What does the pentesting process involve?

The stages of pentesting typically involve selecting the target(s), determining the rules of engagement, conducting the test (which may include on-site testing) and then providing full reporting. If a ‘trophy’ has been specified for the test, (these are useful in ensuring the test has the right context for any findings) the team will hone their focus to zero in on achieving the goal. If not, then vulnerabilities identified will be tested to their conclusion and their impact assessed.

What are the types of pentesting?

There are various types of pentesting, but common methods include black box testing, white box testing and grey box testing. Black box testing involves testing without any knowledge of the internal workings of the system, application or network. White box testing includes having full knowledge of the system, application or network. Grey box testing is somewhere in between, involving partial knowledge of the system, application or network.

How often should pentesting be conducted?

Pentesting should be conducted on a regular basis, at least annually (and more frequently if there have been significant changes to the system, application or network). If you’re conducting pentesting in response to a suspected breach, it’s important to act quickly in order to minimize the damage.

What should you do after a penetration test?

After a pentest, you should receive a full report detailing any vulnerabilities that were found. It’s important to prioritize the remediation of these vulnerabilities in order to reduce the risk of a successful attack. In some cases, it may be necessary to conduct further testing in order to confirm that the vulnerabilitie(s) have been successfully mitigated.

Can pentesting help with compliance regulations?

Pentesting can help organizations to meet a variety of compliance regulations, including PCI DSS, HIPAA and SOX. In some cases, pentesting may be required in order to demonstrate compliance with specific regulations.

How long does pentesting take?

The duration of pentesting will depend on the size and complexity of the target. A simple test on a small system could be completed in a matter of days, whereas a more complex test on a large network might take several weeks.

What is the difference between pen testing and vulnerability scanning?

Pentesting is a more comprehensive and intrusive form of testing than vulnerability scanning. Vulnerability scanning can be used to identify potential vulnerabilities, but won’t necessarily confirm if these can be exploited. Pentesting includes active attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in order to determine their impact.

What is the difference between continuous pentesting and traditional pentesting?

Traditionally, pentesting was conducted on an annual or bi-annual basis, continuous pentesting helps to identify vulnerabilities much sooner. Continuous pentesting involves conducting regular tests (weekly, monthly, etc.) so that new vulnerabilities can be identified and addressed quickly. This helps to improve an organization’s overall security posture and reduce the risk of a successful attack. 

What is red teaming?

Red teaming is a form of pentesting that simulates a real-world attack, in order to test the effectiveness of an organization’s security controls. Red teaming exercises typically involve a team of attackers (the red team) who will attempt to breach the target, while a separate team (the blue team) defends against attacks.

What are some challenges associated with pentesting?

Some common challenges associated with pentesting include:

  • Scope creep – the tendency for the scope of a project to gradually increase over time. This can be a problem in pentesting, as it can lead to tests taking longer than initially planned and becoming more expensive.
  • False positives – incorrect results from pentesting tools which indicate a vulnerability when none actually exists. This can waste time and resources, as remediation efforts are focused on non-existent vulnerabilities.
  • False negatives – failing to identify a vulnerability that actually exists. This is potentially more serious than a false positive, as it could leave an organization open to attack.

These challenges are just some of the many reasons why it’s important to choose a reputable and experienced pentesting provider. Learn more about Occamsec’s cyber security services.